Tournament Round-up: 11 Jayhawks Earn Big 12 Honors
OKLAHOMA CITY– In preparation for the 2014 Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship, the league office announced Tuesday that 11 Jayhawks earned All-Big 12 recognition for their performances throughout the season.
“It was nice to see our players get recognized for such an outstanding season,” Kansas head coach Ritch Price said. “It shows just how hard these young men worked throughout the year.”
Senior right-handed ace Frank Duncan was the lone Jayhawk selected to the first team, as he ranked among the top hurlers in ERA, innings pitched and strikeouts.
“I was particularly thrilled for Frank Duncan,” Price said. “He was second-team All-Big 12 as a sophomore and preseason All-Big 12 last year and then had a disappointing junior year. It was great to see him bounce back and have a great senior year and finish his career on a huge positive note.”
Ten other KU players earned recognition from the conference. Senior catcher Ka’iana Eldredge, junior left fielder Michael Suiter, junior right fielder/designated hitter Connor McKay and sophomore second baseman Colby Wright each earned second-team honors, while senior hurler Jordan Piche’, senior centerfielder Tucker Tharp, junior righty Robert Kahana, junior shortstop Justin Protacio, junior right fielder/designated hitter Dakota Smith and freshman closer Stephen Villines took home honorable mention recognition.
“I’m also thrilled for Ka’iana Eldredge, Michael Suiter, Colby Wright and Connor McKay to be selected to the second team,” Price said. “It is a great compliment by the league’s coaches to the outstanding year those young men had as well.”
In addition to his honorable mention recognition, Villines was also named to the All-Freshman team, as he led the squad with eight saves and 25 appearances in his first year in a KU uniform.
“Stephen is well-deserving of being named to the All-Freshman team,” Price said. “He had an outstanding freshman year and we can’t wait to see the growth he has over the course of his career.”
Kansas opens the 2014 Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship Wednesday as the No. 3 seed and will play No. 6-seeded West Virginia at 9 a.m. Fans can watch the action live on FOX College Sports or listen live on the Jayhawk Digital Passport.
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